With the spectacular month of May looming at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, 15 NTT IndyCar Series teams and 28 drivers are expected to participate Wednesday, April 24 in a series-wide open test on the 2.5-mile to help them prepare for the 103rd Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge.
Fans may watch the test for free from the Turn 2 viewing mounds inside the oval. IndyCar.com will carry a livestream of the entire test from 11 a.m.-6 p.m. ET, with commentary and reports from Kevin Lee, Anders Krohn, Robin Miller and Katie Hargitt.
Among the drivers scheduled to test are seven previous Indianapolis 500 winners (Helio Castroneves, Scott Dixon, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Tony Kanaan, Will Power, Alexander Rossi, Takuma Sato), as well as two-time Formula One Fernando Alonso, who is expected to turn laps in the No. 66 McLaren Chevrolet as he attempts to complete the third leg of racing’s Triple Crown by winning “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing.”
The test day will be split into three segments. Veteran drivers will be on track from 11 a.m.-1 p.m., rookie orientation and veteran refresher tests take place from 1-3 p.m. and the track will be available to all participants from 3-6 p.m.
The month of May kicks off with the INDYCAR Grand Prix on the IMS road course on May 10-11. Indianapolis 500 practice begins May 14, with qualifying May 18-19 and the race on May 26. Tickets for all the month’s activities are available at IMS.com.
NBC Sports’ viewership up 21 percent through first four races
The first four races of the NTT IndyCar Series season have seen a 21 percent increase in total audience delivery (TAD) from NBC Sports compared to the first four races that aired on NBCSN, NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app in 2018.
The TAD average for the four races in 2019 is 397,000 viewers compared to 327,000 last year, according to Nielsen and Adobe Analytics. It marks NBCSN’s second-best viewership start in eight years.
The most recent NTT IndyCar Series race, the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach on Sunday, saw an 18 percent jump in TAD to 442,000 viewers, making it the most-watched Long Beach race since 2012. Coverage peaked at 473,000 viewers from 6:15-6:30 p.m. ET Sunday at the conclusion of the race won by Alexander Rossi of Andretti Autosport.
World Wide Technology becomes track naming partner at Gateway
Gateway Motorsports Park and World Wide Technology, a market-leading technology solution provider, announced a long-term naming rights commitment Wednesday that renames the motorsports facility to World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway. The 1.25-mile oval at Gateway is home to the 15th race on this season’s NTT IndyCar Series schedule, the Bommarito Automotive Group 500 presented by Axalta and Valvoline.
WWT also becomes the official technology partner of the track and will use the venue to advance development programs for the company and its community outreach initiatives.
“The support of WWT will help ensure that our track will compete for North America’s most elite races and offer an innovative and exhilarating fan experience for years to come,” said Curtis Francois, CEO of Gateway Motorsports. “The relationship with WWT will help us tremendously as we continue to grow World Wide Technology Raceway into one of the premier racing facilities in the country.”
As part of the partnership between the two St. Louis-area organizations, the track will feature WWT signage throughout the venue, web and social communications channels and branding on all event promotions. Tickets for the Bommarito Automotive Group 500 weekend, Aug. 23-24, are available at gatewaymsp.com.
Of note …
- Andretti Autosport announced that Trion Solutions, a human resources administration company that works with more than 600 client companies to manage payroll and taxes, benefits administration, workers’ compensation and regulatory compliance, will be an associate sponsor on the No. 98 Honda driven by Marco Andretti at four NTT IndyCar Series races. The Trion logo will be featured on Andretti’s car at the INDYCAR Grand Prix and 103rd Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in May, as well as the Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix presented by Lear doubleheader on June 1-2.
- Country music artists Carly Pearce and Clayton Anderson have been added to the lineup for the Firestone Legends Day Concert on Saturday, May 25 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, on the eve of the Indianapolis 500. Multi-platinum, Grammy Award-winning Zac Brown Band will headline the concert that starts at 3:30 p.m. ET on the Firestone Stage inside Turn 4 of the IMS oval.